New Study Found Tripled Brain Tumor Risk for Long-Term Cell Phone Users

A 2014 Swedish study involving 1498 malignant brain tumor patients and 3,530 controls (people without a brain tumor) found an increased risk of malignant brain tumor associated with long-term use of cell phones and cordless phones. The study analyzed data from two previous studies with patients diagnosed between 1997-2003 and 2007-2009 in Sweden. The pooled analysis showed a clear trend of higher risk with longer wireless phone use. Specifically, the risk was 3 times higher for people who used wireless phones for 25 years or longer. The results resonate with a 2014 French study which found that heavy cell phone users (with 896 hours or more cumulative call time, or about half an hour daily use for 5 years) were 2-3 times more likely to develop a glioma (the most common type of malignant brain tumor), compared to non-regular users.

The study was led by Dr. Lennart Hardell, professor in oncology and cancer epidemiology at the University Hospital in Orebro Sweden. The same group reported the first indication of an increased brain tumor risk associated with use of wireless phones about 15 years ago and since then has conducted a series of studies on this subject. A 2013 study by this group also found a general decrease in survival rate of glioma with long-term and high cumulative use of wireless phones.

The new study showed the highest risk of glioma for those who started wireless phone use before the age of 20. This finding has important implications as cell phone adoption among children and teens has increased substantially in recent years. Compared to adults, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to cell phone radiation due to their thinner skull and skin, smaller heads and still developing nervous systems. They also have the likelihood of accumulating more years of cell phone use in their life time. Research data on children and young people is still very limited and further investigations are urgently needed.

Back in 2010, the 13-country Interphone study coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found a 40% increase in glioma for the heaviest cell phone users (with 1640 hours or more cumulative call time, or an average of 27-minute daily use for 10 years). The evidence from the Interphone study and the studies by Dr. Hardell’s group led the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in May 2011. However, Dr. Hardell’s team believes that new findings since the classification support that wireless phones cause glioma, and therefore should be classified as a “carcinogen” to humans. They also believe that the current exposure guidelines should be urgently revised.

Nevertheless, a definitive link between cell phone and brain tumors has not been established yet. Cell phones have only become prevalent in the past 15-20 years. Most of the existing studies have covered only a few years to around 10 years of cell phone use. The new study is among the very limited investigations covering much longer periods to >25 years. Although the patient numbers are relatively small[1] for the longest-exposure groups, the results shed light on the long-term health effects of wireless phone use.

[1] The cases of glioma are 29 cases for >25 years, 54 cases for >20-25 years, 121 cases for >15-20 years and 248 cases for >10-15 years of wireless phone use


The Pong radiation redirection cell phone case was created out of the concerns around cell phone use and the potential health effects of radiation exposure.  The Pong cell phone case can help reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation and lower your SAR.

1 thought on “New Study Found Tripled Brain Tumor Risk for Long-Term Cell Phone Users”

  1. Three years ago I had a benign brain tumor removed at Vanderbilt Hospital. The neurosurgeon wondered if it was caused by the long-term use of my cell phone. I was an early implementer, having received my first phone in the mid-80s.

    I survived the nine-hour surgery and was fortunate not to lose my hearing or facial function. However, I do have profound balance issues and constant tinnitus – residual effects of the surgery.

    I have used a Pong case on my iPhone since the surgery. It is my hope that people take cell phone radiation seriously and purchase a case. And if you ever have balance and/or hearing problems, visit your doctor immediately!

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